Our Blog

Measuring the Right Data… Driver Behavior and Risk Assessment

Today, everyone knows that it’s important to measure what you manage and manage what you measure. That’s great, but let’s consider this… what if you’re measuring the wrong data? Or at the very least, measuring data that does not truly give you the accuracy you think you’re getting? More to come…

When GPS first was introduced to the mainstream commercial markets it was wonderful. Companies for the first time could see their field assets locations. They were empowered! Now what? Knowing where your assets was great, but then came the next level of questions… “What do I do with that data?” And so it began, the evolution of today’s modern fleet management systems and other similar telematics enabled services. We are now seeing the forward progress move into virtually every vehicle, device, and even pet.

Now, let’s consider the first paragraph again, measuring and managing. The topic is about driver behavior, safety, and risk assessment / mitigation. Today’s fleet management and telematics programs deliver a tremendous amount of value to every business that deploys them. It’s become critical to have one in order to maintain maximum productivity and to stay ahead of competitors. One of the functions many systems have today is ‘Event Based’ tracking of driver behavior. This enables a fleet supervisor or other key member evaluate, both in real-time or after the fact, how many times a driver performed a harsh-braking maneuver, or harsh acceleration, or aggressive turn. And this is good… sort of. Events give you only a sliver of information that an event occurred. But what it doesn’t tell you is anything about the event itself, if it was a severe or very minor event, or the duration of the event. Also, what event based systems don’t tell you is how the driver performs when there are no events. The assumption is that they drive well, but how well? How do they compare to the other drivers in the fleet? You can start to see that measuring and managing those ‘events’ can possibly be an exercise in measuring data that does not really tell you the true or accurate story. It’s like measuring birthdays. It’s great to know you had 50 of them, but which party was the best, or worst? How well did they live each year between birthdays? Knowing the count doesn’t really tell you the real story.

With the evolution of technology so comes the promise of newer and better software and resulting data. We’ve all been witness to newer, better, faster, unique applications on the market. Just look at your hand-held device. Because we’ve measured things one way before doesn’t mean we have to keep doing it the same way if there is something better and available. Many are aware of the UBI Insurance programs that are offered to individual consumers today. Put in an OBD device in your car and let the insurance company get information about how you drive. Only problem is that it’s self-selective, meaning only the good drivers are opting in due to the potential discount via some type of ‘loyalty program.’ In general, they only measure how many miles are driven, time of day, and maybe speed. The movement afoot is to further the evolution of UBI to what we are calling RBI, Risk Based Insurance. With the further advent of very detailed and accurate driver behavior software, being able to assess risk takes on a whole new meaning for both fleets and insurers.

Specialty fleet insurers are showing genuine interest at the prospect of having driver scoring software that provides them with details that are expressly related to driver behavior and potential risk assessment. There have been significant discussions regarding their interest in potential cost sharing, which often times can cover much, if not all, of the cost for the entire program. Consider that the cost of insurance premiums for a fleet driver potentially being on the magnitude of 2-3x or more on a yearly basis when compared to the average consumer, especially since the cost of claims can proportionally much higher. Not to mention fleet vehicles can be much more expensive to fix after being in an accident. In addition to all of this there may be a reduction in maintenance related costs for vehicles driven by better drivers, as well as a reduction in the overall fuel expenses. Add all that up and you have much more of a reason for fleets to invest in understanding and improving their driver behavior. When you combine a new driver scoring model along with the proper driver training and improvement programs you get a very sophisticated and effective way to safeguard your drivers, your vehicles, and corporate assets. If you’re going to invest your time managing metrics related to your driver’s performance make sure you are not measuring just a very small slice of the overall picture. Much like a puzzle, one piece doesn’t show you the full picture.

Why UBI Is a Compelling Proposition for Commercial Fleet Insurance

The right approach to telematics and usage-based auto insurance continues to be debated in the personal lines realm, but the value proposition—and the business opportunity—is clear for commercial fleet insurance. By combining telematics, behavioral metrics, driver risk scoring, contextual data and video systems, insurers can build the next generation of insurance solutions for commercial fleets.

Fleet Insurers have been collecting the same old data, a five-year claims history and reported miles, to determine risk and renewal strategies. There is a strong desire to elevate the renewal process with more accurate means of underwriting risk assessment. Forward-looking Fleet Insurers need to assess their current business models in light of a more sophisticated risk-model emerging through the use of analytics applied to telematics-generated data.

Building a Case for UBI in Commercial Lines

Telematics based services are rapidly expanding beyond standard operational services to also cover more behavioral aspects. This enables fleets and insurance companies to gain a deeper insight into both very tangible and less tangible areas that have a significant price tag associated.

With a strong correlating driver risk identification system in place, fleets and insurance companies can gain valuable insight that will assist in accurate policy pricing, targeted coaching of poor driving behaviors and identification of employee behaviors that have a negative impact.

A Complete Picture of the Fleet Performance

The driver risk score should ideally be combined with other contextual data related to native vehicle risk, typical vehicle routes, weather and other environmental conditions. With all of those parameters known, the insurance company will have a complete picture of the fleet performance enabling a very accurate policy pricing that goes well beyond traditional 5-year loss history as the main indicator.

The contextual data elements are very difficult to modify by the fleet. They can buy modern and safer vehicles, and they can optimize the routes to minimize high risk locations, but those come at an operational cost. However, once the fleet gains insight into the individual drivers detailed behavior, they have an opportunity to instigate targeted coaching for drivers that have the highest risk. Because the monitoring systems are so accurate, the efficacy of the coaching can easily be monitored and appropriate HR actions taken if negative behavior is persistent. Since the at-fault accidents are occurring within a small group of drivers, and those drivers can be identified, the fleet can actively drive towards a better overall fleet score and hence lower insurance premiums.

New indicators also suggest that drivers identified with erratic driving behavior will have a tendency to carry that erratic behavior into other work related behaviors, so effectively the fleet management will have an additional tool for employee performance which leads to improved customer satisfaction and more efficient business operations.

A New Era for UBI

The driver behavior data is collected from standard telematics devices that are already installed or are installed specifically for this purpose. The additional cost to collect the driver behavior data and GPS for contextual data is a small increment over standard GPS tracking solutions; however, the potential gain is significant. Currently, there is some disparity in how data is collected; however, there are industry-wide efforts ongoing that will standardize the raw data collection used for scoring. Once uniform data collection is enabled, most existing telematics devices can be easily upgraded to provide scoreable data. One could argue that this enablement will kick-start the migration to commercial UBI. The barrier to entry is lower for commercial lines than personal lines, and the ongoing operational costs will be lower due to the data sharing with traditional telematics systems.

The combined driver behavior data and contextual data effectively bring a new era to UBI. Traditional UBI is predominately about how many miles a vehicle drives and very little about how those miles are driven. With better risk insight the program can appropriately be called Risk Based Insurance—RBI. We will know how many miles were driven and we know which risk each of those miles carried. Hence the underwriting accuracy vastly improves.

(Related: Does Smart Phone-Based UBI Adequately Assess Driver Risk?)

When fleets are equipped with coaching tools that can accurately address driver deficiencies, they are able to further influence the inherent risk of operating a fleet of vehicles.

The early adopters among the insurance companies stand to gain a significant underwriting advantage and it is entirely possibly that we will see new programs closer aligned with personal lines pay-as-you-drive programs, but specifically targeted for fleets where the price elasticity would be driven more by actual present risk, rather than by miles. There is a strong demand for more granular knowledge prior to the underwriting phase. If fleets had a tool to improve driver behavior, and could document it through a reliable real-time score, insurance companies would reward that.

Video-Based Systems

Fleets carrying passengers have traditionally been leaning towards video based systems because they are very efficient in accident reconstruction and claims settlement. Those video systems have also been used for driver behavior monitoring. In general they work quite well, but are by nature event-based systems and really only target the top 10 percent of poor drivers. The rest of the drivers ‘fly under the radar.’ A more elegant system would be one that combines the best of the two worlds: accurate driver scoring of the entire population and continuous video recording for liability purposes. In recent years, advanced vehicle motion analytics effortlessly pinpoint the most critical clips without ever looking at a single video clip. There are a plethora of low-cost continuous video recorders brought to the market. Combine those with a telematics solution and you have a low cost solution with all the benefits.

With new analytics solutions, more commercial lines insurance companies can take advantage of installed and future telematics devices to collect a comprehensive data set driving towards a full risk-supported UBI program with minimum incremental cost.

Posted on: https://iireporter.com/why-ubi-is-a-compelling-proposition-for-commercial-fleet-insurance/

 

Fleet Safety – Determining Risk Per Mile Driven

Fleets have a tremendous opportunity to lower accident rates as well as improve operating efficiency by implementing a comprehensive driver safety program. Software solutions made specifically for commercial vehicles ensure safe driving and preventive maintenance initiatives are easier to implement and more effective than ever before. A telematics program can be a simple way to gain valuable insight into your fleet — and yields a speedy and ongoing ROI.

Telematics based services are rapidly expanding beyond standard operational services to also cover more behavioral aspects. This enables fleets and insurance companies to gain a deeper insight into both very tangible and less tangible areas that have a significant price tag associated.

With a strong correlating driver risk identification system in place, fleets and insurance companies can gain valuable insight that will assist in accurate policy pricing, targeted coaching of poor driving behaviors and identification of employee behaviors that have a negative business impact.

Deployment of the most sophisticated “risk-based” driver behavior scoring engine will deliver a more accurate identification of risk and a more actionable path for correction. Implementing “big data” back-end analysis and necessary data compensations applied to every second of driver performance will have a significant impact on driver safety, risk underwriting, risk mitigation, and claims settlement efficiency.

Driver behavior data is collected from standard telematics devices that are already installed or are installed specifically for this purpose. The additional cost to collect the driver behavior data is a small increment over standard GPS tracking solutions; however, the potential gain is significant. By using continuous vehicle motion analysis, telematics-supported driver behavior data provides a driver’s risk per mile driven. This level of granular data can now rank drivers on aggressiveness, distraction, general driving tendencies and specific risky driving events and come up with an overall driver safety score.

Having an accurate picture of driver behavior status is the prerequisite to effectively improve behavior and lower exposure to risk. There is a clear link between a well-managed vehicle fleet and profitability. Employees injured in a motor vehicle accident can have a negative effect to a company by incurring costs such as lost production, workers compensation, replacement costs such as new staff and equipment, insurance premiums/increases and a potential burden of civil lawsuits. But the huge financial burden and human cost of road crashes goes far beyond your workplace.

In 2013 the NSC documented the estimated cost of motor vehicle deaths was $267.5 billion. With more than 90 percent of crashes caused by human error (per the National Safety Council or NSC) creating a Fleet Safety plan will help achieve a desired level of safety.

Unmanaged drivers vary greatly in their safe driving skills. Even good drivers drift into poor safety habits over time. Positively impacting a fleet’s exposure to related risk must begin with identifying and positively modifying driving behaviors.

In the U.S. there are:

  • 10 accidents every minute.
  • Five vehicle-related fatalities every hour.
  • One-quarter of a trillion dollars is spent annually on collision claims.

As settlement and legal costs continue to escalate, the costs to fleets are tremendous and often avoidable through improved driver behavior. The greatest reductions in risk are made by intervening with the drivers that are farthest from the desired driving skill level. It remains important to give all drivers continuous feedback regarding their status and changes in driving behaviors.

All drivers represent a certain degree of risk and an opportunity for improved driving. As well as understanding the skill sets of the fleet drivers, every driver and manager of the fleet should understand the documented expectation of what good driving looks like. Only when the desired model is presented, can deviations from the desired norm be acted upon.

Only by defining the “desired norm” of driving behavior, can the fleet document variances from the norm and act accordingly to improve these variances. The goal of improving driver behavior is to have each driver execute his or her driving responsibilities at a desired level of competency.

Fleets carrying passengers have traditionally been leaning towards video based systems because they are very efficient in accident reconstruction and claims settlement. Those video systems have also been used for driver behavior monitoring. In general they work quite well, but are by nature event based systems and really only target the top 10% of poor drivers. The rest of the drivers ‘fly under the radar’.

A more elegant system would be one that combines the best of the two worlds: accurate driver scoring of the entire population and continuous video recording for liability purposes. In the recent years, there has been a plethora of low cost continuous video recorders brought to the market. Combine those with a standard telematics solution and you have a low cost solution with all the benefits.

Article also posted

Does Smart Phone Based UBI Adequately Assess Driver Risk?

An increasingly plausible option for usage-based underwriting is to combine a low-cost Bluetooth-enabled data collection device with a smart phone app in order to satisfy both quality data and customer intimacy for personal lines insurance.

Many insurance companies today, personal and commercial alike, have engaged in usage-based insurance underwriting. There are two ways of collecting the use information from the vehicle: One is using a telematics datalogger and the other is using a personal smart phone with an app running in the background. Both work reasonably well for collecting miles driven and time of day; however, if the underwriting includes any form of driver behavior data, the hard mounted device provides a superior data set.

Now, the real question is what data set provides the best correlation to actual underwriting risk. Assume that it was possible to generate a valid driver behavior risk score in conjunction with miles driven. Would that data set have more value in the underwriting process and is it cost effective? Naturally, the total cost of using an app on the user’s smart phone will have the lowest possible data collection cost. But what if the data cost of the valid driver behavior risk score was only incrementally higher, would it be the obvious choice?

One of the problems with the detailed driver behavior risk score is that it requires high quality data processed by capable servers. Therefore, until the vehicle can provide quality accelerometer data from the head unit we have to rely on plug-in devices to collect the data. Current plug-in devices are predominately uploading data via an internal cellular modem. The cost of the modem and the cellular transmission makes this solution relatively expensive. There are several vendors currently working on cost-optimized Bluetooth only devices where the datalogger cost is close to half of the cellular datalogger and the data will be transported by the user’s smart phone. This will enable high quality data collection at minimum cost.

For commercial vehicles, the existing telematics dataloggers can have a dual role as both GPS tracking/operational efficiency tools and as data collection for insurance underwriting purposes and hence the cost burden is acceptable. For the personal insurance market, the jury is still out what the right implementation should be. The smart phone app is a great marketing tool for the insurance companies, but the quality of the collected data is very poor. Recent articles on the subject suggest that the UBI path going forward should focus on easy to use smart phone apps; however, the challenge with that is data quality. Smart phone apps cannot collect motion related data (driver behavior characteristics) and barely get actual miles driven or time of day.

Although the most refined apps have worked out major kinks and no longer drain smartphone batteries or require policyholders to press “start/stop” to track every trip, the data quality from the smart phone is not good enough. The smart phone’s obvious inability to always be present and actively recording when the car is driving leads to significant data gaps. Any form of true driver behavior can not accurately be collected via smartphone. Therefore, one increasingly plausible option is that a combined solution of low cost Bluetooth enabled data collection device and a smart phone app will satisfy both quality data and customer intimacy for personal lines insurance.

When UBI Self-Selection Ends

Mobile UBI advocates tout that policyholders can simply download the free branded apps from the app store, virtually eliminating the upfront equipment costs for insurers. While this is true, what is not mentioned in these articles is that UBI is still in the voluntary or self-selected phase, meaning policyholders elect if they want to participate or not. People who are willing to use the smart phone app are already good drivers that would most likely volunteer for a UBI program in the first place. Once this self-selected honeymoon phase wears off, and we get past the initial pool of good drivers, you need data accuracy.  We have not gotten down to the population yet that have driving issues because they don’t opt in to the program, but once they do, the poor data collection devices will face a serious challenge in proving underwriting efficacy.

Article from:

https://iireporter.com/does-smart-phone-based-ubi-adequately-assess-driver-risk/

Acculitx Receives $1 Million in Series A Funding

By BRAD GRAVES Thursday, July 2, 2015

Acculitx, formerly known as Fleet Matrix, said on June 30 that it received $1 million in series A funding.

The firm providing the funds was 9411 Associates LLC, a group of San Diego-based investors.

Acculitx is a 3-year-old company which decided to change its name about a month ago, said co-founder Alan Mann. Its core product is accuscore, which the company bills as the world’s first meaningful driver profile score based on actual driving performance.

“Fair Isaac provides a comprehensive FICO score for credit rating, similarly, we provide a comprehensive score for driver behavior and risk,” Mann said in a prepared statement.

Two former DriveCam employees — Peter Ellegaard and Mann — are at the helm of the company, which has eight contract employees. The company hopes to increase permanent staff with the new funding, Mann said.

Acculitix raises $1 million for software that rates drivers

San Diego startup Acculitx wants to be the FICO of driving, and it recently raised $1 million in venture capital to help it get there.

Formerly named Fleet Matrix, Acculitx makes software algorithms that analyze data from in-vehicle telematics devices to create a driving risk score – akin to the FICO credit score for consumer financing.

Acculitx is focused on the commercial truck fleet market, where insurance companies are using data to better understand the risk associated with the fleets they cover.

But Acculitx is betting that its technology also offers benefits for the emerging usage-based insurance market – where drivers are charged for insurance only when they are on the road.

Usage-based insurance is just beginning to be offered by insurance firms such as Progressive and others. Only 4 million personal vehicles out of 180 million nationwide are using it, according to Acculitx.

But usage-based insurance could become a bigger market as automakers and insurance companies continue to tap telematics data from vehicles to offer new services.

There are other companies that monitor drivers for risky behavior. But many of these systems only collect data when there is an incident, such as hard braking or rapid acceleration.

Acculitx claims its system is more accurate because it collects data all the time the vehicle is on the road.

“We believe we are the first in the world to have mastered generating a very accurate driving score based on accelerometer data,” said Peter Ellegaard, co-founder and chief executive of the 3-year-old firm. “Rather than doing just event based, we collect every single second that you drive and we score the whole thing.”

Acculitx has its roots in San Diego’s DriveCam, which is now named Lytx. Ellegaard was a former vice president of engineering for Lytx. Acculitx co-founder Alan Mann was a former Lytx vice president of sales.

The company is working with telematics equipment makers so Acculitx can access speed, acceleration, location and vehicle weight data for its algorithm. Once its software has access to this data, it can generate a score.

The company has a couple of small fleet customers and pilot projects under way with multiple companies, said Ellegaard.

Acculitx didn’t disclose the name of its investor in the recent first round of funding. It currently has seven employees, including contractors.

From
https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/jul/15/acculitx-fleet-matrix-auto-insurance-telematics/

UBI Vendor Acculitx Secures $1M in Series A Funding

The former Fleet Matrix seeks to tap the enormous opportunity presented by the untapped market for telematics-powered usage-based insurance.

(Acculitx aims to serve the huge market of cars not yet participating in UBI. Image credit: Dollar Photo Club.)

Acculitx, a San Diego-based provider of analytics solutions for usage-based insurance (UBI) and creator of the accuscore solution, has secured $1 million in Series A funding from 9411 Associates LLC (San Diego). The funding announcement follows the vendor’s rebranding from Fleet Matrix.

“We provide world-class expertise for identification of driver risk to the fleet safety and UBI markets,” comments Alan Mann, president, Acculitx. “Our solution goes well beyond UBI in its sophistication and risk identification. Our goal is not to become a UBI company, but to move UBI to a more relevant identification of risk.”

“Fair Isaac provides a comprehensive FICO score for credit rating,” Mann adds. “Similarly, we provide a comprehensive score for driver behavior and risk.”

Acculitx’s accuscore driver scoring engine creates a multi-dimensional score that accurately ranks a driver on aggressiveness, distraction, general driving tendencies and specific risky events, according to the vendor. The score may be provided to telematics service providers (TSP’s), which can create their desired user interface applying accuscore. Acculitx says it has an open platform for data collection from any telematics device.

Acculitx reports that it is currently focused on its helping members of its alliance partner network integrate accuscore with their specific devices and service. The vendor aims to advance the fleet safety and UBI market with a more meaningful measurement of risk at a lower cost.

Paradigm Shift to Telematics/UBI

Peter Ellegaard, Acculitx CEO, explains the former Fleet Metrix’s direction on the opportunity presented by the expanding telematics-driven UBI market. An Acculitx statement notes that four million personal vehicles are enrolled in usage-based insurance in the U.S., leaving 180 million personal vehicles without telematics. Nine million commercial vehicles have adopted a telematics solution, leaving 56 million commercial vehicles unconnected. The vendor says that Accuscore will support the existing telematics markets, and enable a greater mass adoption in the untapped telematics/UBI market.

“With the paradigm shift created by the UBI programs, we embarked on the perfect telematics scoring solution universally applicable to insurance risk underwriters and self-insured fleets,” Ellegaard comments.

ANTHONY R. O’DONNELL // Anthony O’Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For over a decade he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached atAnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.